01 January 2018

No Resolutions... Just Gratitude... (How to Start and Keep a Gratitude Journal)

Happy New Year! Do you sit down and write out New Year's Resolutions?
It really doesn't matter if you are reading this on January 1st or May 1st,  start now.
While resolutions might be an excellent motivator for many, I challenge you to go beyond resolutions, that can easily be forgotten or cast aside when life gets busy and, instead, begin a life-changing practice, called Gratitude Journaling. Have you ever Gratitude Journaled before?  Have you heard of them and thought what a great idea... I should try that?  Maybe next year...maybe when I have more time... maybe when I have more to be grateful for... Whatever the reason is that has prevented you from starting this endeavor, may I tell you that you are in a place to begin this process right now. If you have a pen/pencil and a piece of paper, you can start today. If you have been even more blessed, you have a notebook or a journal someone gave you that is lying around waiting to be written in. 

Can I tell you something else? If you are reading this.. you already have so much more to be grateful for, than you probably are even aware of. You can read this, because you have access to the internet, in some way, whether it's your phone, your laptop, kindle, tablet, or pc.  In that alone, you have more to be grateful for than over half of the world's population. According to sources, 3.8 billion people have access to the internet, with the world's population being 7.6 billion, conservatively, that means HALF of the people on this earth do not. So, the mere fact that you are reading this, means that you're among the privileged half that does! That is something to be grateful for.

Maybe that is too big of a way to start your Gratitude Journaling experience.  I keep a gratitude journal and may I tell you that this simple practice has changed my life?! No, I am not exaggerating. There are so many things in this world that are negative, just turn on a single news broadcast to confirm this. You can make a choice! Choose to see what you are lacking in this life or choose to see how many ways you are abundantly blessed and all that you have to be grateful for. 
The choice truly is yours.
I have challenged many friends and family members to try this simple practice and I can tell you that every single person that takes it on,  has seen their life changed.
Here's something else that I have learned and would like to share with you before you start your own gratitude journey, start in the morning. 5 minutes. 5 minutes while your coffee brews, 5 minutes while your tea steeps, while your children are getting dressed, you fill in the blank.  5 minutes in the morning, while ________  I will choose to be grateful.
For some of you, this will be an extremely daunting idea. If you are experiencing depression, you may think it impossible.  I promise it is not.  Start with three things.  Just three things that you can be grateful for each morning. You will be surprised how much more you will end up writing down in less than a couple weeks.
I'm grateful for this floral arrangement, as a matter of fact, I'm doubly grateful for it! My mother bought me this beautiful Christmas arrangement, (it had red roses and more green and white)
Yesterday, I was at a local store that had these beautiful roses for $4.99! I simply pulled out the dead blooms. added water and the new blooms and my arrangement is beautiful again! It's amazing how long the greens stay beautiful, long after the first blooms have gone.
Beyond the arrangement, I have a loving and caring mother, I was gifted this beauty with her love, I had an additional $5 to keep the beauty going, on my coffee table in my house, that provides me with shelter and warmth! See how quickly gratitude adds up?!!

Did you sleep in a bed in your house or apartment last night?  How about starting there, if nothing else comes to mind. Number One: Today, I am grateful for a roof over my head, warmth, dry space, sleep, the money for rent, or even the knowledge to empower myself to gain housing. Which is your truth?  Write it down. Simply remember to put the words "Today I am Grateful for" in front of your truth.
Three basic things that we have or do every single day and we are not even remotely aware that these are gifts to be grateful for. Food in your fridge, clean water to drink, family, friends, a vehicle to drive or the money to take a bus, a bicycle to ride, the very clothing on your back is another thing you have to be grateful for that is not a given around our world. Clothing is not a right, it is a blessing and gift and a privilege that you have been given, by either hard work or simply life's circumstances. Nonetheless, a gift, not to be taken lightly, as we all are so guilty of doing. Present company included.

Many of you will be tempted to start a gratitude journal but may think night time is easier for you to sit down and write. Can I tell you to put that reasoning aside and start in the morning, even if for only a few brief moments? Something magical, or even miraculous, happens when you start your day in gratitude. It may be harder for you to think of things you're grateful for in the morning and you may think if only I was doing this after my day I would have so much more to write about. I know, I thought the same thing. Discipline yourself to stick to the morning. It is easy to look over your day and pick and choose what occurrences were blessings. (What's the saying, "Hindsight is 20/20.....") That is exactly why you need to start in the morning! It may be a bit harder. But, I promise you if you start your day in gratitude for the "simple" things in your life, you will go throughout your day and see so many more things that you have to be grateful for! That's the point! Save those things for tomorrow morning!

Here's my example for your day one: (Please feel free to alter this to your own, but if you can think of nothing else, start your journal like this)
Today, I am Grateful For:
1. A roof over my head
2. The clothes on my back
3. The food in my stomach
And, so on...
As you can see, there are all kinds of room for your own ways to express your gratitude. Maybe your grateful for a good night's sleep, maybe you woke up without pain today, maybe you woke up next to a loved one.  Whatever your three may be, start now. Let gratitude take over your mindset like an avalanche! You will find it more and more difficult to be sad or negative when you start your day in Gratitude for all that you have been blessed with.

Do you think this is easier said than done? It is not. Today, I woke up in pain. I'm not saying that for sympathy or reaction, only to point out that even though I am in pain, I am able to get out of my bed on my own two feet! That in itself is something not to be taken lightly. This has not always been the case.  I have been in a wheelchair, used a walker, even walked with a cane for many years. So, for me to be able to get out of bed on my own, on my own two feet is a humongous blessing that I do not take lightly.
If you know me, you know that I am not very fond of pictures of myself. I can choose to see all the imperfections in my hair, face, size, here, or I can choose to see that I am clothed, have makeup, and in the background SO much more!

So what do you have to lose?! Maybe you will prove me wrong! I'm willing to take that chance. I am so sure that if you truly do this, begin your day with gratitude, it will have a snowball effect on how you view your life. I pray that this will be a blessing to those of you who decide to take the challenge. Know that I am on your side and will partner with you in prayer as you begin your journey of thankfulness.
Many Blessing to you all and thank you so much for sharing some of your time with me, here.

I will be sharing with:  


  1. I used to keep what I called a spiritual journal. In it I would record what I am grageful for daily and I would also record my thoughts for 5 minutes every evening before I went to bed. It was awesome. I haven't done it in a while but I am going to get back to it this year.

    1. Clearissa, i'm so glad to hear you'll be getting back to it. Try doing it in the morning. You will be surprised in the difference

  2. Hi Theresa. Beautiful Post and Nice Reminder about Gratitude. I count my blessings ever day and am grateful I found you and this post, as I am now following you (google+). Please check out my latest post. I blog at www.colors4health.com

    1. Nancy, thank you so much for your lovely comments I am so pleased that you're following me. I returned the follow. I'm so grateful for your comment.

  3. Great reminder! I just re-read my 2017 journal and realized...I stopped counting!! I do it in my mind and in prayer, but I still like to record them and I just...stopped! So will get back on this! Thanks! Linked up with you at Imparting Grace!

    1. Amy, I'm so grateful for your comment. I have been guilty of the same in the past and all of the sudden realize that I'm feeling off or overwhelmed and get right back in the habit. The written word is so powerful and I believe makes us internalize our gratitude even more. So glad to hear you're getting back to yours.

  4. Great idea and inspiration Theresa...thank you!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

    1. Cindy, My absolute pleasure! Thanks so much for the feature!
      Blessings to you, as well.

  5. It is important to take inventory of our blessings. I do something similar but a bit different. I read the Psalms morning and night and I write a line from what I read that speaks to me or praises God. Sometimes a single sentence just amazes me with truth. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.

    1. Sherry, I absolutely love reading aloud Psalms. It is something else I like to do several times during the week. I'm glad you have found what speaks to your heart. Thank you for your Sweet Home party.

  6. I love this, Theresa! I don't specifically keep a gratitude journal but I do keep a general journal of things I've learned, things for which I'm grateful, prayer, and Scripture verses. You're right ... we have so many reasons to be grateful!! Thanks so much for joining the party at Counting My Blessings!

    1. Deb, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and so grateful to have found you. It was a pleasure joining you at Counting your blessings. Thanks for leaving your kind comment.

  7. I love how you spruced up that bouquet and gained even more thankfulness from it. Visiting from #Faithnfriends linkup!


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